Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Entertainer Vs. Entertainer

Many conservative pundits are accustomed to belittling the contributions of actors, musicians, et al., to the public political discourse, particularly those contributing to the left side. "The Hollywood types should stick to subjects they know," they say. Fair enough, I suppose. If someone is particularly unqualified to speak on a topic, why should they get to use their high profile to foist their uninformed opinions on the rest of us. Setting aside for a moment that one could say much the same thing about the sitting president, I can see at least a marginal sum of logic in this line of reasoning. OK, if it's time for the amateurs to clear the floor, you’ll get no argument from me (although I would probably be one of those asked to leave). But here’s my question, in what meaningful way do the pundits, especially in today’s TV-centered media, differ from the entertainers they deride? What qualifications does Sean Hannity have that, say, Sean Penn lacks? What credentials does Rush Limbaugh have that are beyond the reach of someone like Tom Hanks? Elton John? Janeane Garofalo? Didn’t Natalie Portman go to Harvard? Isn’t Harvard a good school? I’m not sure what classes she took but it’s certainly possible that she once took a class in political science. Let’s say she did. So now Sean gets to flap his trap on Fox News and Natalie does her best to say Padme’s lines with a straight face. Now who’s more qualified to talk politics? Regardless of the answer to that question, something tells me if Natalie said that we should get out of Iraq (and she could be a Goldwater Republican for all I know), Sean would dismiss her comment as typical hysterical Hollywood blather. I’m not saying that criticism of the more ridiculous statements made by Hollywood types is unfounded. Hollywood types DO say stupid things. Quite often, in fact. My only point is that many of the pundits dismissing the Hollywood types as “mere entertainers,” ARE MERE ENTERTAINERS THEMSELVES!!! Entertainers criticizing entertainers for being entertainers makes about as much sense as a horsefly complaining that his dinner tastes like horseshit.

Olaf glad and big said...

dead on.

Jas said...

two thumbs ups.
Though, to put the other point of view in perspective: If you had a disease, you'd want qualified doctors running the show, not just someone who read up about it on the internet.
Bush grad from Yale, that's prestigious too (I know i know! it can mean nothing) and he's grown up in the world of politics. There's something to be said about real life apprenticeship vs solely book learning.
Don't pity me though, I'm not a W fan.

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